Home » Opinion » All Jokes Aside: Roughly 10% of you will vote in the USG election. Here is what you need to know.

All Jokes Aside: Roughly 10% of you will vote in the USG election. Here is what you need to know.

Shamina Merchant and Shawn Semmler (left) and Reese Brooks (right) and Reagan Brooks (left) are the two campaigns running for president and vice president of Undergraduate Student Government. Credit: Courtesy of the Merchant-Semmler campaign and the Brooks brothers campaign. 

Ricky Mulvey and Seth Shanley are members of the Buckeye Standup Comedy Club and joke-loving columnists for The Lantern. Mulvey is a fourth-year in finance and Shanley is a second-year in journalism.

Starting Monday at noon, students will vote in the Beloved USG Election of 2018 known for its hard-hitting issues, cutthroat campaigning and dead memes. This election is sure to be a topic for future USG members’ job interviews.

Less than 10 percent of students will probably vote in this USG election. When you’re in class this week: look to your left, then your right, look behind you, in front of you, and then go find five other people. Chances are, one of you might vote in the student council election.

For undecided voters, here is your candidate preview.

The Brooks brothers

The Brooks brothers, Reese and Regan Brooks, are running for the presidency and vice presidency of USG, respectively, as complete outsiders. It’s a bold move to never be a part of a student government and then decide you should take over that government. 

This is literally the definition of the “old college try” and is so absurd that it could never work on a real level, like in a business or in the executive branch of the United States.

The Brooks brothers have more serious points about decreasing wait times for Counseling and Consultation Services, making USG more communicative with students and adding bike racks to a school building.

The Brooks brothers also have embraced “memes” and popular trends that many youth would have found comedic months ago.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything — which received less-than-zero upvotes — the Brooks brothers suggested a “more tasty food alternative in all dining facilities: Tide Pods.” LOL. How relevant! Do you get the joke? It’s because Tide Pods were a funny meme two months ago. As a smart reader, you might notice that Tide Pods aren’t food. The Brooks brothers are relatable pranksters, and that’s just part of the fun.

Whether you agree or disagree with their stances, the Brooks brothers directly tell you their beliefs. They are against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, against the $15 minimum wage for on-campus workers, and vehemently against the recent trend of secret voting for USG propositions. Regan and Reese Brooks address student’s frustrations with USG and communicate clearly.

Shamina and Shawn

Shamina Merchant and Shawn Semmler are running for USG president and vice president. If you like USG experience, then they are the candidates for you. Their thoughtful campaign includes a 57-page policy outline, succinctly written for students to browse as a beach read on Spring Break.

Merchant and Semmler have made it clear that they will be listening to the students but also give evasive answers. The team declined to give a specific answer when asked if they supported the ballot initiative that would raise the campus minimum wage to $15.

They also want to alleviate the problems with USG’s secret votes by making the senators hold office hours. This is a dodge for a simple fix and will be as effective as fixing a flat tire by holding office hours, or fixing the problems with Greek Life by making an app.

The team took a note from Aaron Burr by not letting students know what they’re against or what they are for with regard to controversial issues like BDS. They are following in the footsteps of a popular character from the hit musical “Hamilton,” but Aaron Burr is also a real person who lost the Election of 1800 to Thomas Jefferson.

Merchant and Semmler have the experience to make USG run smoothly during their tenure and put an immense amount of effort into their campaign. They have opened themselves to the press and have led a collaborative effort.

Who wins, who loses, who tells their story? That’s for about 10 percent of you to decide.

Andrew Muller contributed to this article

Editor’s Note: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of The Lantern. The views expressed are solely that of the columnists.

One comment

  1. a concerned buckeye

    1. Brooks Bros seem like they would absolutely oppose initiatives that may raise tuition costs or cause some kind of unnecessary headache. That’s a point in my book.

    2. Ohio State students’ decisions should be given weight based on how much tuition they are paying, like a business. This allows the university to more effectively benefit the people who are actually supporting it financially.

    3. Shamina and Shawn’s platform is very much: make things more affordable by getting rid of fees and things, but drive up costs by creating new initiatives and expanding existing ones. Which one is it? The costs get passed on somehow, mostly to the students who don’t get scholarships and to out-of-state students. If we aren’t paying fees, it will end up raising tuition or costs somewhere else. All of these policies sound nice and fair, and we should absolutely do any of these things which cost very little, but when we create new costly initiatives we can’t in the same breath be talking about reducing cost of attendance.

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